Laws of Attraction DVD: Review By justincase

  • Feature
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
Pierce Brosnan plays Daniel Rafferty, one of the top 2 divorce lawyers in New York City. Julianne Moore plays Audrey Miller, the other top New York divorce attorney. Both attorneys practice their craft wtih distinct styles and both are at the top of their game. When they meet, and clash, they trade-off jabs and courtroom victories as they discover eachother and fall in love.

After an early initial tryst leaves the counselors at eachothers throats, both in and out of the courtroom, the pair land smack in the middle of a divorce case severing the union of a rock-star and a top designer. In pursuing victory in this case, both attorneys head off to Ireland (why, god why? ... to investigate the marital asset that both spouses want...a traditional Irish castle). Of course, these 2 keep falling into bed together, but this time, during the Ireland trip, they end up surprisingly and suddenly betrothed -- to both attorneys' dismay.

What do you get when you have two opposing divorce attorneys that are suddenly married to eachother? A romantic comedy plot -- bursting with conflict, one would suppose.

So here we are... the opposing counselors are married and, instead of unwinding their union and leaving the high-profile case, as ethics and propriety would seem to dictate, they decide that -- to save their reputations -- they must stay married... at least until the conclusion of their current case. Now co-habitating (for the sake of appearances), the couple do battle and learn to get through each day with someone else in their (previously solitary) lives. Perhaps somewhat comforting to each of them, and not at all surprising to the audience, the two decide that they are, in fact, perfect for eachother. We find that Brosnan's Rafferty wants to be married and, despite her contrivances to the contrary, we learn that Moore's Miller does, too.

Of course, along the way, there is the little dose of moral turpitude when Rafferty leverages his proximity to Miller to (accidentally, of course) obtain "inside" knowledge as to Miller's client and case and exploit it. With our plotline conflict well established, and the two attorneys head-over-heels for eachother despite the fact that they discover they're not really married, we must unentangle the professional and amorous mess to land both our main characters and the audience smack in the middle of an actual, real and legal marriage.

Sorry for the spoilers... No big surprises in this entire film. They meet, fall in love, deal with lumps and bumps in the road and ultimately get married and live happily ever after.

Brosnan and Moore turn in the expected solid performances and make this little rom-com worth the time invested. They work together well and have just the right amount of chemistry and conflict to make it work. The film is reasonably entertaining and well-intentioned, if not just a bit over-the-top. I'd say that I enjoyed this film at least as much as I enjoyed the very similar (divorce attorney-esque) Clooney/Zeta-Jones vehicle, Intolerable Cruelty.

It seems that getting divorce lawyers to believe in marriage is on the minds of at least a few screenwriters and directors. Maybe that's OK. Perahps, if more people took the advice that is subtlely doled out by these films, more people would work on their marriages instead of bailing out as fast as people seem to these days.

Surprisingly, given the top-liners and the genre, this film did less than $20 million at the box office. Overall, I guess, as our home theaters improve, there will be some movies that we choose to see on the big screen and some we'll just wait to catch on DVD. This is definitely a film that I'd have passed over in the theater (despite a desire to see it) in favor of a viewing at home on DVD.
There really are no special features worth anything on this disc. The list is:

* Deleted / Alternate Scenes

* (2) theatrical trailers

* "More from NewLine"

The only feature worth investigating are the deleted/alternate scenes. These are pretty standard stuff and only marginally interesting. Only if you're quite bored would I recommend these. The scene where Brosnan ends up stuck in a peat bog, is kind of entertaining.

There is another scene that got cut from the film that takes us back into Rafferty's history of either falling for or sleeping with his opposing counsel. This might have been a good bit of information to have and set up a bit more of the conflict "at home" for the two lovebirds...

Regarding the other features... OK, so we all know why they put the trailers on the disc and that is not entirely inappropriate. But why do we have to have our DVDs weighed down by garbage from the studios? Go check out MovieWeb if you want more information on movies... we don't need a bunch of promotional crap on our DVDs that will be less and less timely the longer these discs sit on our shelves.

New Line also includes some DVD-ROM / ONLINE special features. This is just dumb. If I can't flip through them with a remote, DON'T PUT THEM ON THE DISC! Damn. I hate this. How many of you watch your DVDs on a web-connected computer most of the time? OK, now how many of you watch them on your TV? Enough said.
Presented in 2.35:1 aspect, this film looks decent. I did note a few "imperfections" that looked like transfer defects. Nothing that will be distracting and, I'm certain, most will not ever notice. There is also a full-frame version of the film. I never watch these anymore. Once you move to widescreen, there really is no reason to go back.
In 5.1, the sound is decent. This is a rom-com, so there's not too much to really test your system.
An entertaining and lighthearted romantic comedy that should find broad appeal, this one is a decent rental and would probably be a welcome addition to many collectors' shelves.

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